Goldfinches, the Vegan Birds

Our Cup Plants (Silphium perfoliatum) are full of Goldfinches these days. Goldfinches love Cup Plant seeds. Also Echinacea seeds, Sunflower (Helianthus) seeds, and Thistle seed, among others. But of those 4, I only have Cup Plants.

Hummingbirds: Tiny, Feisty, and Fun to Watch

We’re seeing hummingbirds with greater frequency around the garden. I suppose they are getting ready for their migration to southern Mexico and Central America, where they spend the winter.

Monarch on Mexican Sunflower

My favorite butterfly on my favorite annual flower. That’s all.

A New Wren Family in the Birdhouse

So we have more wren babies in one of our birdhouses, this time the blue one near the west hedge of the Back Garden. Earlier today Judy was watching and taking pictures as the parents frantically tried to keep the nestlings fed…. Read More

A Summer Picnic for Pollinators

There was a lot of buzzing in the garden the other day, buzzing and fluttering. So I decided I would do a little pollinator post. Judy was out of town, though, so these pics are not be up to her usual quality.

Our First Home Grown Monarch Butterflies

So Judy and I just raised our first Monarch butterflies to adulthood. We were nervous about trying, but then we read that only about 5% of Monarch caterpillars in the wild make it to adulthood. We figured we could do better than… Read More

Birds, Butterflies, and Bison at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

An hour’s drive southwest of Chicago is an 18,000-acre prairie preserve called Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (pronounced Mi-DAY-win). The preserve was created mostly out of lands that had belonged to the now-closed Joliet Army Ammunition Plant. Today the land is part of… Read More

Monarch Caterpillars!

We believe strongly in doing our bit to help the Monarch butterfly, whose migrating population has declined about 90% in recent decades (you can read more about saving the Monarchs here). And so we have lots of Milkweed (Asclepias spp.), which is… Read More

Another New Bird In The Garden

It’s been a rather wet, cold, and dismal weekend. One bright spot, though, was the sighting of another new avian visitor to the garden: the Red-headed Woodpecker. In fact, this was the first time either Judy or I had ever seen this… Read More

Consider Yourself At Home

Recently Judy was on the back porch and noticed a small bird flitting in and out of the bird house that hangs just outside of the windows.